When giving advice to new parents, it's important to focus on positive suggestions. Every parent will develop their own unique parenting skills as their child grows, and you should aim to give them universal guidance that any parent can benefit from hearing.
What is effective parenting?
Parents are caretakers and guides. Beyond taking care of their child's basic needs, a parent is a model of the world. They can teach their child warmth, kindness and empathy so they learn to cultivate it in themselves; they offer support and shape the way a child views themselves and their emotions.
Effective parenting promotes individuality; good parents wish to nurture their child's unique personalities and strengths rather than enforce their own ideals. Love, supprort and plenty of play time are all a part of being a good parent, but so is proper discipline. Many parents struggle to discipline their children because they fear they'll cause psychological damage; while this is possible, discipline can be done in a positive manner. Good parents learn to reward wanted behaviors and correct negative ones from a place of love and patience.
Parenthood tests of many things, and people need to learn how to properly manage their own emotions, forgive themselves and follow through with goals before they can effectively parent their children.
What to say to brand new parents?
Aside from congratulating the parents on their new baby, talk to them about their own wellbeing. Mothers in particular tend to hide their own emotions or repress their struggles because they do not want to draw attention away from their child. But the transition into motherhood is not always easy, and some mothers need to be reassured that their feelings are valid even more than others.
It's a good idea to remind new parents that every baby is different and, likewise, every parent-child relationship will be unique. Even siblings close in age will have different experiences with their mothers and fathers, and that is okay. Rather than focusing entirely on schedules, standards and what they think they "should" do, assure new parents that it's okay to take time and figure things out. What works for them and their child is what matters most.
What is modern parenting?
Millennial parents are changing may aspects of child-rearing, including new parenting skills that may seem completely foreign or even downright wrong to their more traditional grandparents. Modern parents embrace the unique qualities of every family member, opting to nurture each person rather than enforce a particular set of rules or morals.
Modern parents are no less engaged or lax than their own, but they do leave room for change and growth more than the dated models of child-rearing. They aren't afraid to fail and learn from their mistakes; they are conscious of the world and strive to raise culturally sensitive, curious and inclusive children. They dispel the notion that parents are super-humans and pursue their own dreams and passions.
Modern parents are also tech-savvy; they use apps, new tools and objects like a baby wrap to make caring for their children easier.
What are some good parenting skills?
Everyone is different and expresses themselves in a unique way, but all parents can benefit from having certain skills to support them and foster a healthy, positive relationship with their children.
Good parents are emotionally intelligent; they respond rather than react to their feelings and practice good self-control. They are also planners who respect the importance of thinking ahead even if it's not their favorite thing to do. They are also flexible and forgiving; good parents know that life does not always turn out how they'd like, and even big mistakes can be major teaching moments for their children.
Humility is another skill parents can benefit from. Rather than feeling guilty for not measuring up to the idea of a "perfect parent," it's better to know that there is no such thing and every parent will have their own strengths and areas to improve upon.
Finally, a great skill to have as a parent is innovation. Using a variety of supplies and tools like a baby wrap help parents make life easier and safer for themselves and their children.
Parenthood is one of the most exhausting, incredible, transforming and rewarding experiences a human being goes through. Raising children often reveals traumas and challenges within oneself that take courage to resolve. But parents have the opportunity to learn just as much about themselves as their children during this process; a lifelong commitment to evolving, growing and celebrating the miracle of life will make parenthood the most beautiful adventure a person ever undertakes.